tv [untitled] November 6, 2010 9:30am-10:00am PST
already, we are right around the corner. last week, the city comptroller released the standards report, which showed that despite our department's continuing staffing and resource challenges, our average scores continue to improve. i'm very proud of the fact that 2009/2010 scores improved over 2008/2009. do not kid yourselves -- this is not because of an abundance of staffing. this is the direct reflection of very hard work that our gardening staff and maintenance staff and management team has been doing in our parks. there are districts where we still have challenges, and this is the district report you are about to hear a short presentation on. it is a great tool for us to understand what we're doing well, where we need to pay more attention, where we need to direct resources in all our neighborhood parts and all of our super majority districts. we know that districts 10 and 11 continue to need our love and support and attention, but even
in those districts,;;gó cleanlis stores have increased at least 9% since the program's inception, so it is really an effective tool for us. i'm going to let the comptroller's office -- the controller's office this presentation, and want to thank them for their support in this program. i think, as you know, our entire staff or a big chunk of our staff goes out quarterly and evaluates parks. we do it four times a year. this is -- we invest a lot of resources in monitoring our parks, and you are going to hear a little bit about the annual report. >> thank you. i am joined today in the presentation by my counterpart in the controller's office.
i'm going to take you through -- this is an old tag line of mine -- this is a good news story. this is the fifth consecutive year where scores have gone in. we have seen a trend in the scores increasing. briefly, legislation was passed in 2003. we perform these evaluations on a quarterly basis. we actually have over 100 people on staff now trained to do the evaluations. they go out and evaluate 14 features like trees, lawns, a children's play areas, and they evaluate qualities of those features. they look at the green color of the lawns, the height that it has been mode, etc., and the answer yes or no. you either passed the standard as described in front of you in the document, or you fail. it is a very objective evaluation. we post the results on a quarterly basis. what is really exciting for us right now is we now have five
years of data. we will talk about some of the trends you could see in some of the other slides, but we have a really great body of data. i'm going to turn it over to talk about the controller's office's role in this process. >> good afternoon. as lydia said, we work together on managing the analytic portion of the park maintenance project. we have to basically develop and refine the valuation methodology as well as help coordinate joint training and time our quarterly evaluations. the controller's office staff and that's one of valuation for every part by the end of the fiscal year. the fiscal year and, we published the park maintenance
standards annual report, which we will be discussing further in our presentation. at mid-year, we publish a six- month report. >> just to follow-up on one item that we consider very important for the department -- beat office really performs as an audit function. there are neutral search parties. it gives us our credibility in terms of the scores, especially with some of our park advocacy groups that are highly critical of some of the things we do. we rely on them to continue to perform these evaluations and be that check and balance to the activities of the department in this process. onward to results. this bar graph is basically illustrating the fact that we have five years in a row of increase. we started in 2005-2006 with just over 81% as our rating, and we are up to 89.7%. that is the overall score for the fiscal year closing for
2009-2010. again, the other things that we see in a lot of the scores, and you will see it in detail later, is that also in terms of increasing scores, the controller's office and recreation and park department tends to score together. and this is a slide that comes directly from the report as well, and i have not presented information like this to you before, but it is really interesting. basically, this is illustrating the fact that we have more parts doing better. back when this started in 2005- 2006, we have 43 parks scoring above 90%, and we had any number in the red zone that were scoring below 80%. as you see each bar, each year, we have an increase in the green section and a decrease in the red section. for the fiscal year that just close, we have only 14 parks
scoring below 80%, and we have 90 about 90%, which is more than half of our parks showing a significant increase like this in scores. this is the last time you will see nsa results, but our neighborhood service areas -- again, they are showing an overall trend up. when we took a look at this, the only thing we noticed that was of some concern was basically nsa 6 and nsa 9. let's not confuse these with the districts, by the way. we did show a decrease from last year to this year, and that is really primarily due to the lower great highways, which often actually gets lower scores. it has an infrastructure problem in terms of some of the aesthetic features there, such as the fences that are not fully functioning well, etc. if you are familiar with it, you know.
particularly from the third to fourth quarter this year, it drops primarily because of low scores for lawns and restaurants. again, a snapshot in time that it did not do well. then, in nsa 6, we attribute that drop, which is just 1%, but we attributed to the fact that we had a staff member functioning in 3 management roles for most of last year. and he really had his attention spread in many different directions, and when i talk to him about an example, he is solely focused on the management. he would do drive buys to the facility and often proactively be able to identify a problem, and colorado staff, and have them react to it.
feature ratings. i talked about the 14 features enumerated here. overall from last year to this year, we see a majority of increases. certainly from the right most column to this current fiscal year. we see nothing but increases, again, reflecting the overall trend upward. looking in the right most column under or mental garden shrubs and ground covers, a horticultural feature that the department is really proud of, it actually outpaced all of the other features increases. it went up more than 14%. if you recall from my presentation before you previously, we kind of lamented the fact that ornamental gardens were not going as high as we all want to, but i think staff paid attention, and we are happy to see this feature increase so much over the program. the decreases we have seen from last year to this year are actually pretty small. we are not going to ignore them, but we are glad to see these are
not significant, strong, large decreases. if your call, the neighborhood parks council also does its own evaluation of children's play areas every two years, said they completed the evaluation in february of this year. both organizations agree that overall trends are up for children's play areas. there is some disparity there. evaluation is a bit more technical, much more like an inspection, and ours are evaluations, but we confirm that there is a trend of with another outside organization taking a look at our facility. district results -- typically, we have only concentrated on nsa's but because there were reports of concerns, we did want to take a look at this issue. this is again from the report, and it illustrates an upward trend over the five years. but it also illustrates the problem we are seeing where we need to pay attention to what is going on to district 10 and 11.
they continue to lag other districts in the city. i want to put a little perspective on this, however. if you look at district 10 for the last fiscal year, it scored 83.4%. that is in the right most bar in the middle there. it scored lowest of all the districts, but that is still a b. but we are not going to be happy with that. we want to see the differences between those districts decrease even more. again, if you look at the first year, that spread between district 1 and district 11 was just over 18 points, and we have actually reduced the spread down to about 12 points this fiscal year, and ideally in a perfect world, which we will strive for, is to see no difference in the scores between districts. we want to see equity and reasonable scores. the one thing you do not see on this bar graph actually is we did have one district decrease,
district 6, and we look at why that might be. it actually decreased 2.8% this last fiscal year, and really, that turned out to be staffing issues. we talked quite often about the importance of our staff. they have vacancies in both of the supervisors for the custodial staff and 40 horticulturalist that -- and for the horticultural staff. i'm going to turn it over for other perspectives in terms of district results. >> as you can see, the lower scoring districts are in the southeast portion, so we have district 10 and district 11, and both are averaging 83.4% for district 10 and 84.7% for district 11. you can also see that district 10 has seven of the lowest scoring parks out of the bottom 10, and district 11 has two of
them. ultimately, the northeast part of the city districts have the highest scoring parks, averaging 95.6% and 93.8% respectively. district two actually improved 4.8% over fiscal year 2008-2009 scores, and have two of the highest scoring parks, while district 3 improve 1.1% and have three of the highest scoring parks. just to delve a little deeper again into the issues around district 10 and 11, one of the things cited in the report when you get a chance to look at it, is really the trash and dumping problems experienced sometime in districts 10 and 11. the only thing we do not rate for clear this is the condition of trees. for districts 10 and 11, they had trended upward.
for district 10, we had trended upward nearly 9%, to actually over 9% for the last five years, and for district 11, the cleanliness score has trended up about 15%, but again, i want to emphasize the fact that the department will be taking a look -- it is actively looking at what changes we can make in this district. the manager there retired, so the recruitment will go on for a new manager. we're looking at how the mobile for the cultural crew can be deployed, how current custodian allocations are happening, so there is a lot of staffing review happening currently. we also look briefly at making sure the capital budget now is equitable, not the that area is ignored. planning division has spent about 30% of their hours their hoursmclaren -- looking at mclaren park and the kinds of things that can happen there. the second-highest number is in
district 10, so going back to the fact that we really want to look at how staffing is deployed in that area. one interesting thing that is mentioned in the report related to cleanliness, and she really did confirm i am looking at cleanliness gore's those features that are primarily managed -- solely managed by custodians such as restaurants consistently scored very high where we have direct control. occasionally, we have shared responsibilities for a cpa, and it works much better when the custodians are the primary responsibility in terms of those activities and they continue to score high. going back to the fact that they were added in 2007, we continue to see that reflected in our stores in terms of cleanliness. recommendations from the report, right at the top of the list of concerns was again, as we just talked about district 10 and 11, the controller's office suggests
we look at it, and we are actively going to. in terms of across divisions, it is how we are communicating with capital, how we communicate with the structural maintenance charge, making sure that is tighter with operations. what i was gratified to see in terms of the timely monitoring a body which and results, one of our new staff in the department, actually sent out an e-mail today to all of her managers also announcing the report and asking for a specific report in terms of, "look at your areas, tell us what you see, and give us concrete actions on how you plan to react in the report? that is very different and a great step forward. the last two points relate to staff schedule compliance primarily. i'm going to take time to read this completely to you, which is to work with the public, to revise that schedules in order to reflect current best practices for staff and
custodians while satisfying prop c require its. one of the desires of the public when the legislation was passed was to say they want to see staff schedules and know how often we are adhering to the schedules. the viewpoint of the department is that is not practical, and it does not reflect best practices. what is the concept of what used to be a garden with a specific individual predominantly in one location easily found is really changing. again, following best practices in new york city and central park, etc., we really look at crew work as the primary way to accomplish work. we respond to a lot of dynamic needs in the park, so staff may not be adhering to the schedule for primarily legitimate reasons. the way we post the schedule does not reflect legitimate absences for training, doctors' appointments, travel time between parks, said that recommendation to change how we are looking at south schedules and our compliance to them is an
absolutely correct recommendation. we love it, and we want to make it so that those schedules posted and the compliance rates of those schedules reflect reality because right now, it looks like a false perception of a lack of work ethic for our staff, and that is simply not true. i think, basically, i can close the presentation. just one small little fat here basically is the first quarter of the fiscal year closed about a month ago, and the preliminary result is that our overall score is 91%. i think that phil would like to make one small comment about holding the line at 91%. >> thank you. >> i have been asked to close this presentation with a cautionary note, which is that we really think right now that our staff is operating pretty
close to peak efficiency, given the resources we have, and i think that we have the data to back that up. last year, during our budget challenges, we focused on trying to draw more efficiency on the recreation side. we talked about the difference between fixed assets and flexible assets where we have a certain number of parks. we can scale up or down the amount of hours or services we do on the recreation side. we went through i think a really important and meaningful process in the last year on the recreation side to try to figure out how we can do business differently and more effectively, given the resources that we have. but if we are faced with yet another $10 million or $12 million challenge, there is no place to go on the recreation side. and we need to look at other areas of our organization to achieve savings or continue to drive the revenue conversation. these are some of the difficult
choices that we as a department and as a community of park advocates need to face. maintaining this level of maintenance, and as good as our scores are, i'm out in our parks every day, and i hear, "how come that bench is not fixed?" or, "how come that water fountain is not working?" there are all kinds of things people would still like to see, and i guess the cautionary note is while we celebrate really what is the talent and hard work and work ethic of our staff, we have reached pretty much the limit on where we can go, given the resources we have here with additional cuts, you saw that -- i think it was in district 64 nsa 3 where we had some staffing, where lidia pointed out that there are some
vacancies. that really translates into lower scores. less resources, lower scores. that is something we need to keep in mind as we continue to grapple with the public policy debates about revenue generation versus service cuts. >> i just wanted to tell you that this is a great report, and something we do not here, but it was really great because i read through this myself, and i did not know all the stuff that was there. it was really great, and i enjoyed it. one of the things i missed was going out to the golf course. i love going out there, and i had my grandson out there for two years, but there was so much stuff, and this was very intelligent today. commissioner buell: good.
i might say there is no question that we are faced with cuts again next year, which means that everybody has to get on the same page of finding a sustainable funding mechanism for the parks, and there are ideas out there. there are proposals being floated, so i would encourage you all to sign up with us, and we are going to try to make that happen. with that, commissioner bonilla. commissioner bonilla: yes, i just wanted to congratulate staff for this accomplishments. i think we have, an awful long way from five years ago. i think it all has to stem with the fact that i think there is an improvement over all in terms of commitment, focus, and i would also say morel -- morale in terms of all the work that
needs to get done and i'm really glad to see that we are mindful of the fact that even though our resources are limited that there are certain areas where we have to continue to achieve some parity because we know that districts 10 and 11 historically have been areas where at least san franciscans have fewer resources, so i'm glad to see that one of the recommendations is to continue to work on the plan to improve services in the parks out there. so i'm very appreciative of the. the other thing is i wanted to comment on an activity that i for dissipated in, which i thought was really great.
you did not mention anything about the scare growth, and that was a terrific family event. i took my niece and relatives out there at sterngrove. it was held on october 22, on the occasion of halloween, but i really thought it was a family activity, and i think everyone for dissipated. i especially like the hayride. that was very popular. people waited for hours for the -- that. and the fact that kids had an opportunity to get onstage and the performers was terrific. i just think it was a terrific event, and i want to thank staff for putting it on because
i know there was a lot of hard work that went into it. i heard some staff commenting that they needed some time off after that event. they put a lot of energy into it, so i hope we continue to do more of those type of events, and i want to thank you for putting that on. >> i did actually forget to mention scare growth -- grove, so thank you for mentioning that. it seems like a long time ago. i also really want to thank our recreation staff. they poured their hearts and souls -- we now do a quarterly family event, so every fall, we have scare grove right around halloween. we have our tree lighting in december, and in the spring, we have eggstravaganza, and in the
summer, we have marina played on the green where we bring kids in the city for a day of rights and activities and conable fair, so that has become now a part of tradition to do these quarterly family events. i wanted to turn back to the prop c scores, and i want to thank the controller's office for their support. i really do want to extend our thanks to the staff for all their great work, and the last person down there i want to thank the deserves an incredible amount of credit is our director of operations. he has overseen the program since its inception, and this has really professionalized -- denny's involvement has professionalize our department
and staff and made it more accountable and transparent, and it does not happen without a lot of work and great management, and i did want denny to be recognized for that. >> is there any public comment on the general managers' report? >> good afternoon, commissioners. i'm actually president of the outer mason merchants association but also a steward of programs on park, and i was pleased to hear that the numbers in district 11 have gone out, and i assume one of the parks is ocean view and the other is proper amazon. i have always said with all the successes we have had, especially in the southeast -- or we are actually in the south- central part of san francisco, all the successes we have had over the years, it is a success for us. patrick is here from city fields where we had our beautiful
soccer fields. because of that success, we have people playing and playing. the other day, it was raining, and we were driving by, and we thought nobody would be on the fields, but they are. i'm also on the community policing advisory board for ingle side district, and actually, i'm the chair of the subcommittee on the car, where we have eight presentation by robert watkins because of some of the issues like crime and trash, and i heard something earlier about the vendors in golden gate park that they have to clean up their trash, and i'm hoping that the vendors in crocker will do the same thing. i want to make one last point about the ornamental gardens. when i was chair, there was a big issue with us because we wanted our part to look like
golden gate park, and crocker is not golden gate park. it is an athletic field with many athletics going on. tennis, basketball, but she ball, football, soccer, but there are areas that could be beautified, and one of the things i would like to suggest, and i met with the general manager a few weeks ago, is that we need to be stewards. the general public needs to be stewards of their park if they want to see improvements and cleanliness in -- and a state park to go to. >> thank you very much. >> good afternoon. i would hope that the general manager would agendize this on the regular agenda next time. i think it is an important report, and people do not know. it is buried without any notice under general managers' report. you have to be psychic to know
this is coming, so when you have something as important as this public report card, may i please urge that it be agendized? and i want to bring up something i have mentioned for the full five years this report has been mentioned -- all the parks are not being evaluated because all the parks are not given standards. all the natural area do not have standards. they have no standards to meet. the only standard i would insist on is cleanliness. i realize that natural areas are special. but, my golly, we have a standard of cleanliness for open space as a unit, but not for natural areas, so there are no requirements for the honor to to go out, so when i see a natural area and i see that it is not clean, i think it has something to do with other staff, and i